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10 Fantastic (And Free!) Fall Travel Apps

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Say goodbye to summer; fall's here. We're excited for road trips, farmers' markets, fall foliage and all things Thanksgiving (except flying -- but we've got an app for that). Use these 10 apps to make the most of the season.

LevelUp

Fall means pumpkin patches, craft fairs and craft breweries. Unfortunately, most of these places are cash-only, and who carries cash anymore? Enter LevelUp, an app that lets you use your smartphone to pay for just about anything. Download the app and securely link it to your credit or debit card, then scan it at places that accept LevelUp to pay in seconds. After you've tried a new place, you even get a few dollars to spend there the next time around. You'll continue to unlock savings and offers as a repeat customer, too. We tried the app and it couldn't be easier—it definitely beats scrambling for spare change. (Available on Android and Apple.)

Inntouch

Leaf peepers, find the perfect boutique inn or B&B to stay at with the InnTouch app. Use it to find nearby accommodations and to contact the inns for reservations. With more than 10,000 photos of properties, you can book with confidence. There are more than 1,000 recipes from bed and breakfasts included, too. (Available on Apple.)

FlightTrack Free

The beloved FlightTrack app, which used to cost between $4.99 and $9.99, is now available as a free download just in time for Thanksgiving travel. Use it to track your flight (or a loved one's, if you're on holiday airport-pickup duty), see baggage claim and gate info and get cancellation information. Unlike the paid app, the free version will only let you track one flight at a time -- but its features are just as cool as the more expensive versions -- especially the animated flight maps. (Available on Android and Apple.)

Foliage Leaf Peepr

Don't drive for hours in search of fall foliage only to find that the leaves are changing late this year. Download Yankee Publishing's Foliage Leaf Peepr app for crowd-sourced foliage reports from other users. Once you're in the forest yourself, use the app to rate foliage -- there's a slider that lets you rank leaf color from "green" to "gone." (Available on Android and Apple.)

Fresh Food Finder

What would fall be without crisp apples and organic pumpkins? Score the best fall fruits, vegetables and baked goods using Fresh Food Finder. Use the app to locate farmers' markets and locally grown food nationwide, as well as operating schedules for nearby locations. You can rest assured that you're getting the best food, as only farmers' markets registered with the FDA are included in the app. (Available on Android and Apple.)

GasBuddy

Planning a road trip? Download the GasBuddy app to save money on your drive. Use it to find nearby gas stations and see their current gas prices. You can also contribute to the app by reporting on gas prices, which will earn you points toward prize giveaways. (Available on Android, Apple and Blackberry.)

The Weather Channel

Fall's not always crisp and cool. Sometimes it's rainy and cold. Get the heads-up on any early snowstorms or other weather situations that could ruin a road trip or delay a flight with The Weather Channel app. You can see forecasts by the hour or as far as 10 days in advance for locations worldwide -- perfect for trip planning. (Available on Android, Apple, Blackberry and Windows Phone.)

AllTrails

Just because you're traveling away from your gym and toward home-cooking this Thanksgiving doesn't mean you have to pack on the pounds. Get moving with the AllTrails app, which finds nearby hiking or running trails, whether you're in a national park or a big city. Browse user-submitted photos of routes to find the most colorful fall trails, and track your hikes and runs so you'll know exactly how much stuffing you've earned this year. (Available on Android and Apple.)

Leafsnap

Impress your fellow leaf peepers with your amazing foliage knowledge by downloading the Leafsnap app, a combined effort from researchers at Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. Snap a photo of a leaf and the app will use visual-recognition software to tell you what kind of tree you're looking at. (Available on Apple.)

Oktoberfest.de

Jetting off to Oktoberfest in Munich this year? Or just wish you were? Get help navigating the famous festival or watch the fun from afar with the Oktoberfest.de app. If you're going, you'll get real-time advice on which tents are open, maps and even a blood alcohol calculator. Or, just get in the spirit from back home with pics from the live webcams. Prost! (Available on Apple.)

-- By Caroline Morse

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